Article 126 of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement provides for a transitional period until 31 December 2020. Article 129 of the withdrawal agreement states that, during the transitional period, the UNITED Kingdom is bound by obligations under international agreements concluded by the EU, including the EEA agreement. EEA-EFTA states have agreed to treat the UK as an EU member state during this period. As a result, the rights and obligations set out in the EEA agreement between the United Kingdom and the EEA-EFTA states apply until 31 December 2020. But there is an important difference. This agreement will follow the EEA agreement and not directly EU law. Although there are few differences in practice, only changes to social security rules that have been incorporated into the EEA agreement, after approval by the EEA Joint Committee, have an impact on the EEA-EFTA agreement. 7.According to Section 78 insert – protection arising from the EU withdrawal agreement… Those who are protected by the withdrawal agreement and who have not yet acquired a right of permanent residence – if they have not lived in the host state for at least five years – are fully protected by the withdrawal agreement and can continue to reside in the host state and acquire permanent residence rights in the host state even after the UK`s withdrawal from the EU. On the European Union side, the European Parliament also approved the ratification of the agreement on 29 January 2020 and the Council of the European Union approved the conclusion of the agreement by e-mail on 30 January 2020.  That is why, on 30 January 2020, the European Union also tabled its instrument for ratification of the agreement, concluding the agreement and allowing it to enter into force on the date of the UK`s withdrawal from the EU on 31 January 2020, at 11 .m GMT.
All EFTA countries have a bilateral dialogue with the UK to maintain close economic and trade relations after leaving the EU. Immediately after the Brexit referendum, discussions began with the UK on the impact of its exit from the EU on EU-UK relations. The withdrawal agreement provides for a transitional period until 31 December 2020, during which time the UK will remain in the internal market, to ensure the smooth flow of trade until a long-term relationship is concluded. If no agreement is reached by then, the UK will leave the single market without a trade deal on 1 January 2021. The withdrawal agreement is closely linked to a non-binding political declaration on future relations between the EU and the UK. Schengen is not part of the EEA agreement. However, the four EFTA states participate in Schengen and Dublin through bilateral agreements. They apply all the provisions of the acquis in question. It does not concern independent arbitration proceedings at all and provides that disputes are settled exclusively within the joint committee created to manage the agreement. The first objective of EFTA was the liberalisation of trade between its Member States.